Qatar is not only home to amazing architecture and golden sand dunes; it also has a deep historical, cultural and artistically inclination thanks to the number of museums present in the country. There are many things that you can learn from Qatar’s museums, from Arab art to the history of its locals. Here are some museums in Qatar that are a must visit-for anyone planning to learn about the history and culture of this Arabic country.
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Museum Of Islamic Art
The MIA is the crown jewel of Qatar museums. It was established in 2008 and has one of the most magnificent architectural designs. It has extensive art collections obtained from several countries in the Middle East and Central Asia. Some of the items that you’ll find here include finely decorated ceramics, antique manuscripts, textiles and well-crafted metal works.
It also provides remarkable views of Doha’s entire skyline as well as the Persian Gulf, thanks to its floor-to-ceiling windows and perfect location right next to the sea.
The Alriwaq is more of an art gallery than a museum. It was established in 2010 as a temporary venue to host an exhibition organized by the Museum of Modern Art. However, its location made it popular among art lovers and the QMA decided to keep it as a permanent art gallery. The Alriwaq is located near the Museum of Islamic Art and provides great views of both the Gulf and the city.
You should expect to find some of the finest international art pieces showcased here, especially during an art event.
Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum
This museum is located away from central Doha. You will find four collections here: Qatar heritage, coins and currency, Islamic heritage and vehicles. There are approximately 15,000 items across the four collections making it one of the most diverse museums in the country.
There is also an onsite restaurant where you can relax after the museum tour.
This museum consists of four historic houses which showcase the history of Qatar. The four houses include the Radwani House, Company House, Mohammed Bin Jassim House and Bin Jelmood House. They all have different themes and artefacts showcasing different aspects of historical Qatar.
Here you can view traditional furniture, old engine oils, telephones and helmets as well as catalogues detailing historical slavery in Qatar. The museum also provides a detailed history of the Msheireb district which was the first to house a hotel, bank, pharmacy and café in the whole of Qatar.
MATHAF – Arab Museum Of Modern Art
MATHAF is much smaller than the Museum of Islamic Art, though it also houses an extensive collection of contemporary and abstract art. It mainly focuses on art pieces made by Arab artists. Its exhibitions usually focus on the achievements of Arab artists in different categories such as sculpture, photography and painting.
It is also home to a collection of historical art pieces with some dating as far back as the early 1840s. If there is one place in Qatar where you’ll be able to enjoy the latest developments in the world of Arab art, then MATHAF is it.
Bonus Tip: National Museum Of Qatar
This museum has one of the most impressive and sophisticated architectural designs, not only in Qatar but in the whole of the Middle East and Europe as well. It was designed by Jean Nouvel, an award-winning French architect, and is expected to open very soon. The museum will host artefacts related to different Middle East themes such as oil and gas, the people of Qatar and the country’s trade. It is also speculated that it will showcase western contemporary art as well.
Though it is yet to be opened, the National Museum of Qatar’s development is almost complete.
Qatar is a country that takes pride in its culture and loves to showcase both contemporary and modern art. The Qatar Museum Authority has made great strides in ensuring that its museums are not only world-class but also provide extensive information about the Middle East. You will undoubtedly learn a lot about this country on your museum tour.
If you are planning to visit Qatar for the first time, find out more information about it here.